Google is experimenting with post-quantum cryptography


Anticipating the development of large quantum computers that could theoretically break the security protocol behind HTTPS, Google announced Thursday that it's experimenting with post-quantum cryptography in Chrome. The company is adding a post-quantum key-exchange algorithm to a small fraction of connections between desktop Chrome and Google's servers, Google software engineer Matt Braithwaite explained. The post-quantum algorithm will be added on top of the existing, elliptic-curve key-exchange algorithm that's typically used, ensuring the same level of security for users. The experiment is currently enabled in Chrome Canary, and users can look for it by opening the Security Panel under Developer Tools and looking for "CECPQ1." The experiment should give Google real-world experience with the larger data structures that post-quantum algorithms will likely require, Braithwaite wrote, while putting the spotlight on an important area of research.

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